Isaiah 25:1-9 (NRSV)
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Chapter 25O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name; for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. Verse 2For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt. Verse 3Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you. Verse 4For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm, Verse 5the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place, you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds; the song of the ruthless was stilled.
Verse 6On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. Verse 7And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Verse 8Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.
Verse 9It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
I have vivid childhood memories of my great-grandmother’s homemade bread and jam, graham cracker pie, and lefsa. I’m sure many of you, like us, can say that anyone who left Grandma’s house hungry had no one to blame but themselves.
Today, the prophet Isaiah tells us about a sumptuous feast prepared by the Lord God. No one needs to leave God’s table hungry, because this feast is “for all peoples.” We’re not talking about the basics of survival here, but about all the best—rich foods, well-aged wines—the stuff of rejoicing. The reason for celebrating couldn’t be more glorious. It’s the good news that God “will swallow up death forever” and “wipe away the tears from all faces.” Of course we will “be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”
The prophet reminds us that we can trust God to keep this promise, because of all the wonderful things God has already done: “plans formed of old, faithful and sure,” sheltering all who need it until the feast can be realized.
Nourishing God, you feed us with the finest of foods, and sustain us with your promises. Help us always to remember your faithfulness, to rejoice in your salvation, and to look forward to that great day when you will swallow up death forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.